Rosa Parks (with Martin Luther King, Jr. in the background)
The thing that intrigues me the most about the Rosa Parks story is that she didn't set out that day to start a civil rights movement. She just wanted to go home. But when she was pushed too far, she pushed back. She refused to give up her seat to a white man and was arrested. On the day of her trial, the local NAACP organized a one-day boycott of the Montgomery Alabama bus system. It lasted for 381 days and brought the bus system to a halt.
She has been referred to as the First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement and she was active in civil rights until she passed away in 2005.
Parks received the Congressional Gold Medal from President Bill Clinton and among many other awards, an honorary doctorate from Soka University, in Tokyo, Japan.